The Beaten Path


ethan_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title The Beaten Path
Synopsis Ethan and Sylar discuss the road to ruin and other travel directions.
Date December 26, 2008

…a room.

It's dark…

"Around 'ere." Comes the gravelly voice. The words are quickly followed by footsteps. Two sets of footsteps.

The journey to this place has been a long one to say the least. Many different turns, narrow hallways, subway tunnels to traverse, obstacles to overcome. But finally two men with dark pasts come into an equally dark room.

The door opens, screeching loudly as it is hefted open. And then the lights flicker on. Warehouse lights, though whether they are in a warehouse is out in the open. The Wolf steps into the room first, the serial killer known as Sylar second sequentially. Silently, Ethan goes to close the door behind them. They are in a non-descript room, with non-descript walls. Stone. Nothing of value, or anything at all, save for a cot and a steel chair. Ethan motions for the other man to take a seat.

Sylar steps aside to allow the shutting of the door, although the way he casts a look about their surroundings might suggest that he's also instinctively listening for a lock click. It's just that kind of place. Or, considering his stay both in the Company's medical facilities and the place ominously known as Level Five, maybe that's just him. From his run in with the healer, he's moving far easier - his left arm isn't caught in a sling and moves as freely as his right, although the last effects of a bruise from a fist still makes its mark at the corner of his mouth and cheek thanks to the appearance of an invisible man.

At Ethan's urging, Sylar moves to sit down, one leg folding up to rest his ankle against his knee, leaning right back. He's dressed mismatchedly in a sophisticated grey woolen jacket over a dark red sweater, the hood of which hangs against his back. Jeans, scuffed boots complete the ensemble. "Where are we?" he feels moved to ask, looking back at the cot situated in the corner.

There is no lock click. There is no need for a lock click. Their journey made it rather obvious that no one would come down here unless they had a purpose. Ethan walks quietly to take a seat on the cot opposite the chair. He gives Sylar a look for a moment, placing one shoe on his knee. A cigarette is taken out of his coat pocket. A lighter quickly follows it. He doesn't offer one to Sylar, he knows better by now. The cigarette is lit before the lighter is put away.

"Is that really the appropriate question, Sylar." Ethan comments rather than asks, sticking the thing in his mouth, he goes to lean back against the wall. "Does it matter? I would think the question you should be asking yourself, if not me, is why are we in this place that you have to ask the location of."

He is dressed rather nicely, extremely dapper, especially for the trek the two of them just took part of. A black suit, black shoes, a black shirt and a gray tie. The only thing that is not black on his person is the gray which stands out starkly from the rest of his garb. The suit looks very expensive, as well as everything else on his person. One would think him going to a very fancy wedding, or perhaps, a funeral.

The mysterious answer to his question doesn't seem to impress Sylar much. It's very much the sort answer he'd expect from Kazimir, even, and the respect he had for that man is all but gone. His eyes narrow a little in irritation, the serious strokes of his eyebrows communication the same, but he opts to bite the bait anyway. "Okay," he says, with a slight head toss, hands clasping together on his folded leg. "Why are we here, Ethan?"

Ethan's lips curl into a smirk around the cigarette at his irritation marked by his massive eyebrows. Even a hearty chuckle is given, bringing one hand up to take the cigarette out and give a long exhale. "Good question." He lets out through his laughter. His foot leaves his knee and settles on the ground as he leans forward.

"I had a talk with Odessa." Ethan murmurs, his eyes going to the ground then wander up to Sylar. "She said some interesting things. About viruses. A girl named Shanti." He takes another puff on the cigarette. "She tells me she talked to you too." His eyes go to the other man's gaze as if asking a question

Again, not entirely an answer to his question, or at least, not a satisfying one. As Ethan begins, Sylar exhales through his nose in an impatient sigh, gaze slanting away from Ethan to observe the darker corners of the room. However, the answer, even if not satisfactory, takes an interesting turn and Ethan's final look towards him is met. How to phrase this. "We talked," he agrees, words a little clipped. Disappointed in Odessa, perhaps. Not for her talking, but for her talking.

Ethan tilts his head at this short clipped answer. An amused grin turns on his features and he goes to lean back. "Interesting, wouldn't you say?" The man asks, letting the smoke slide out of his lips. "You don't 'ave anyfing to say about it? Don't want to tell me 'ow you feel about it?"

His gaze dips down towards where his hands are clasped, posture almost sullen although truthfully, he seems to be considering his answer before he says it. When he finally looks at Ethan, there's a wary sort of interest, there. As if Sylar had wished he'd asked such a question first. So in defiance, he doesn't offer up an answer. "Isn't a virus like the Shanti something you and Kazimir always wanted?" he asks, head tilting to the side. "It's supposed to kill everyone like us." The 'us' is spoken in such a way it obviously doesn't include Ethan.

The cigarette dances around his mouth for a second. "I was married and 'ad two children." He starts, eyeing the man. "Two people who 'appened to be evolved were on the run and 'appened to kill my entire family." He pauses, looking for Sylar for any reaction. "Sounds like the beginning of a bad movie, but it's true. I killed all three of them." Ethan says coldly, taking the cigarette out for a moment.

"I then went to visit my father. He also turned out to be an Evolved. But he was weak. As a boy I saw him as the strongest person in the world. He could conquer anything.I admired him more than anything." Another puff of smoke is given as he pauses in the story. "I never knew such a virus was possible. Only conjecture."

Strange game being played down here. The discomfort in Sylar is obvious although he tries to ignore it, watching as Ethan relays this story. As for a reaction, there is only acknowledgment, no surprise, no horror. He had offered Wu-Long a sort of apology when he'd heard something similarly sad, but then, he was five Coronas into a merry Christmas evening. He keeps whatever apology possible to himself and gives Ethan the respect of silence.

"It's possible," Sylar says, slowly. "But something like that can always and will always go wrong. Odessa and I are going to kidnap a geneticist we both know to make sure it does what it should. What Kazimir wants it to." This last part is said as smoothly as everything else, although his gaze breaks from Ethan's, looking down again.

"Sounds like a plan." Ethan says through the puffs of smoke. Sounding very confident at Sylar's proposal. "Though that's not what's going to 'appen." He states. It's a comment, not a question. "You don't want to die, Sylar. Odessa doesn't want to die. You're not Amato, you don't believe Kazimir is an angel." He places his cigarette back in his mouth. "You said once that you and I are alike. You remember, I'm sure." Of course he does, what doesn't Sylar remember? "Because Kazimir found us. Gave us purpose. That's certainly true. Kazimir has given you purpose. 'e's given it to me as well. 'e 'as been like a father to me."

Now Sylar's gaze stays solidly down, not looking at Ethan at all as he says this. "Yes," he agrees, thinly. "He has that affect on people, doesn't he." A beat, considering, before continuing lightly with, "He told me about the virus hours after you approached that time in Midtown. He said he wanted me to be his successor. That I'd be powerful enough to be there when the dust settles like I was powerful enough to survive the bomb." His voice is conversational, not loaded with any of the anger he is carefully keeping bottled. "I don't expect to die, Ethan. No matter what happens. That's my purpose."

"Do you think you would be invulnerable to the virus?" Ethan asks lightly, sticking the cigarette back in his mouth he leans back against the wall casually. "Will it only affect those who only have one ability?"

"Maybe," Sylar says, more a murmur that would otherwise be hard to hear if not for the smallness of the room, the closeness of the confines. "Or there are others… people like Adam Monroe don't get sick." Now he looks up at Ethan, eyes narrowed. Desiring to turn this around. "Why? Angry that Kazimir never told you this himself?"

A smirk, and then a chuckle comes out. He leans forward with the laughter before looking up at Sylar. "Jealousy." He laughs still. "Think I'm jealous of you?" His laughing starts to die down. The cigarette is taken out of his lips and flicked down at Sylar's feet.

"I'm done with jealousy."

"Sometimes, Sylar. We have to go down a certain road. A road that leads us to inevitable doom. But we can't get off that road. We have to continue down it with diligence." He scrutinizes the man. "We may want to turn off for this reason or that. But it will only come to ruin and be for naught anyways." A beat. "I 'aven't used the word naught in a while." A light 'hm' is given before he continues. "We 'ave to go down the road Sylar." His lips go back into a grin as he leans back. He then hangs his head, something murmured very quietly under his breath…. And then finally. "Do you understand?"

Of course, Sylar hears that murmur. What doesn't he hear? What doesn't he remember? An eyebrow raises but he nods. "I understand," he says, simply. A pause, studying Ethan's features in the semi-dark as he says, "Maybe not jealousy. But perhaps betrayal."

"We talked the other day. I said I didn't know what to do. I've got the orders. I know what to do now." Ethan says coolly, propping his elbows on his knees.

"We are both untrustable men." He says lightly, picking another cigarette out of his coat. "But what if…" He pauses to take the lighter out for a moment. "What if we needed to trust each other. Just once. For one instance, with everything riding on the others actions. My life in your hands, your life in my hands." The fire lights up. "Could you do it?"

The flame produced by the lighter is what Sylar watches, the room growing fairly hazy with cigarette smoke although it doesn't seem to bother him. What does are the four walls around them both, the continual feeling of being cornered. Interrogated. It's just a vibe this place insists on manufacturing. He doesn't so much as look at Ethan as he does the burning end of the cigarette as leaf smolders under the little flame, and he carefully considers this question. Then, finally, he nods again. "Yes."

"You'll remember this room. You'll remember this suit." Ethan says coldly, ice wafting over the flame of the cigarette. "The next time you see this suit, you come to this room. No matter what happens." The man goes to stand, the lighter tucked away into his suit jacket. The man steps forward, one hand going to set gently on Sylar's shoulder for a moment. "Follow the course, Sylar. Don't deviate. Don't question." With that, the man goes for the door. Placing his hand on the cold steel, he finally glances one more time at Sylar.

Don't question. It may be the only thing that keeps Sylar from doing exactly that as soon as Ethan's hand lifts from his shoulder, though he doesn't vocalise confirmation. He only acknowledges it with silence. His eyes close for a moment, before he smoothly stands up again.

We make our own fate, a girl in the future had told him. Everyone has their own courses and roads to ruin. Sylar doesn't plan to deviate anymore.

Without needing to be lead blindly, he follows Ethan back the way they came.

December 26th: Extreme Makeover Magnes Edition
Previously in this storyline…
Frauds, All

Next in this storyline…
It Would Be Easier

December 27th: Welcome Help
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